An experiment in teaching reading comprehension with written answers in the mother tongue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comprehension of a text in a Reading Comprehension course is often checked by means of written answers in English. However, such writing, which is uncontrolled and mostly uncorrected, is often frustrating for both the student and the teacher, and its value has been felt to be doubtful. The experiment described in the paper aims at finding out whether students writing in their mother tongue (Hebrew) and thus deprived of the opportunity to be exposed to English through writing, could achieve the same reading comprehension level as their peers who write English throughout the course. Results showed twice (the experiment was conducted two consecutive years) that writing in Hebrew did not hinder the progress in English comprehension and that uncontrolled writing in English in the control group did not contribute to it. The final comprehension level of the two groups was found to be almost similar. The average progress of students writing in Hebrew was somewhat better. Moreover, writing in Hebrew contributed to a better learning situation consisting of additional time left for individual practice, removal of students' frustration in not being able to say what they want, and the feeling on the parts of both student and teacher that comprehension has been assessed fairly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'An experiment in teaching reading comprehension with written answers in the mother tongue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this